People who join groups and associations, and make an effort to genuinely engage others they meet, can really benefit as a result of newfound relationships.
When I took my first steps in the marketing world years ago, at Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company, I was green behind the ears. I was very fortunate to have a mentor who taught me the craft of marketing, I would not be where I am today without him. However, a couple of years into my tenure at Swiss Water, in spite of reading books, taking courses, and learning on the job, my overall view of marketing and business was a bit narrow. Swiss Water was my world.
Naturally, one’s overall understanding of a discipline expands with experience, and the opportunity to contribute to different companies. However, to really become engaged as a professional, I believe that it is important to connect with others. There is much to learn from the experiences and insights peers can provide. Also, given the rapid pace of innovation and change in today’s world, I believe that it is more important than ever to collaborate and keep abreast of everything.
To expand my view of marketing while at Swiss Water, I joined the BC Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Doing so enabled me to access resources from North America’s largest marketing professional association, and by attending events, I was able to meet and learn from fellow industry professionals. I have since increased my involvement with the association, first volunteering on a committee and, most recently, joining the Board as the Director of Membership. I have no doubt that the BCAMA has helped me take my career to the next level.
Recently, I have further broadened my scope, joining and volunteering for The League of Kickass Business People. Yes, quite the name, I know! The group is comprised of over 1500 leading innovative and visionary senior level professionals form a variety of disciplines – including digital, marketing, media and design. Through my involvement with the group, I have had the good fortune to meet and learn from some of the brightest minds across the country. My thirst for knowledge, as a result, has never been greater. Now, how cool is that?
There are groups and associations for every profession. If you are unaware of what is available, I suggest a search on Google is a good place to start.